Friday, February 29, 2008

Sasha Cakes

“You want one?”, my friend Sarah asked me. I followed her gaze down toward the paper plate she was holding; on it, lay two thick, sauteed brown rice cakes. We were standing in the middle of the chaotic playground, waiting for our kids, after school. “Yes!” I screeched, I almost never turn down food. “Where did you get them?” I asked. “Sasha [her 7 year old son] made them in cooking class today”, she told me.

Yes, the image of four, 7-year old budding chefs, sliding their drippy noses across their forearms and hands then getting on with forming the brown rice mixture into neat, little, snotty patties did pop into my head-- but I didn’t care, I was hungry.

Even cold, they were delicious!

So I wanted to make them at home for my four snotty, little kids. I figured out the recipe and served them for dinner last night-- all four girls liked them! They were so good, I had them for dinner and then cold for breakfast the next morning as well as warmed in the microwave for lunch, too.

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
1 cup cooked red lentils, cooled
1 medium carrot shredded or ½ of a small sweet potato, peeled and shredded
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped chives
1 shallot, minced, or 4 small green onions, chopped or ¼ cup chopped yellow onion
A good couple of dashes of garlic powder
A good couple of dashes of dry dill weed
Black pepper
Salt to taste
½ cup small cubes of cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons flour (optional, will help the patties stick together better)
1 egg
Bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for sautéing

When you make the rice, at the end of cooking, layer the shredded carrots or sweet potato on top, cover, remove from the heat and allow the shredded veg to steam and soften just a bit. Allow the rice to cool completely. Combine everything, except the flour and the egg in a large bowl and mix well. Taste for seasoning, make sure there is enough salt and that it is tasty. When you get to the seasoning that you like, add the flour (if using) and the raw egg and mix well.

Cover and set the mixture in the refrigerator to get cold (at least one hour, but up to a day ahead).

Form into 12 patties, carefully dredge in bread crumbs and sauté over medium heat until nicely browned and crisp, turn and sauté other side. Serve hot, warm, or room temp.

Sasha likes his with the Japanese condiment, Tonkatsu sauce smeared over the top…

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